OK Working mothers.. Any tips or hints for me.... Page 1 / 2

toadfish, Nov 15, 3:24am
Tommorrow I make the transition back to full time work, I have worked part time since the children started school (9am-1pm) and tommorrow I start a 40 hour week. They are now 15 & 17 so quite capable of helping me... . What do yours do to help that makes the biggest difference? ? ? They arrive home about 3. 45 and I will get home about 5. 20pm, so only really a 1. 5 hours difference. I am quite an organised person and have given it quite a bit of thought but I am sure there is some good advice out there to help me. Today I made 2 lasagnes & 2 cottage pies for the freezer, so that has brought me 4 easy evenings. I know we will be fine but why recreate the wheel... so any pearls of wisdom greatly appreciated... . Wish me luck, I am sure I will be shattered to start with.

lythande1, Nov 15, 4:12am
They are certainly old enough to be doing either the housework or cooking dinner without you.
Or both. Make a job list up for them. I see too many lazy ass teenagers that do nothing or minimal help.

toadfish, Nov 15, 4:28am
lol... . My teenagers may be many things -but lazy ass isn't one of them... lol. I suppose because I have had the time I have just done most things that need doing, they have always done whatever I have asked of them & with good grace. I thought maybe if they took 1 turn a week each doing an evening meal, that would be good... Also getting the washing in would help... . To be honest when I decided to go full time getting a cleaner was top of my list. They are both A students and do an awful lot of homework after school so don't want to overload them. I am just after any "pearls" that I may have overlooked that might make life easier. eg... does anyone do there shopping on line? ? ? or do you do it on the way home? ? ? I thought maybe early Sunday morning as I am an early riser... . then they are all about to help unpack when I get home (Will make a nice change! )

beaker59, Nov 15, 4:44am
Sounds like you have a good bunch of teens. We both work and have a 10yr old (the other 5 have left home) every thursday we do shopping I pick up josh from after school program and we go to the supermarket. afterwards I cook a (yep I'm Dad and do all the cooking) quick meal like a stir fry and noodles or we have dinner out at the foodcourt or a cheap asian style foodcourt near us. Shopping in the weekends cuts too much into the weekend energy supplies. Eating out can be just as healthy as eating in if you are careful.

toadfish, Nov 15, 4:50am
That was my other thought... shopping on the way home which included that nights dinner... I remember a couple of years ago being rushed (something to do with my parents being unwell) so last minute I stopped off at foodtown and brought fresh rolls, a cooked chicken & a tub of coleslaw. My children said this is so yummmmyyy can you be rushed more often please? . . being on just 1 full time & 1 part time wage made this a huge treat for them... Yes they are good teens & very grateful for the smallest of things... .

charlieb2, Nov 15, 4:52am
Toadie. . you have lovely girls... and I'm sure they will be a big help. My 'pearl' from being a full-timer with one in pre-school, would be to keep your weekends as free of 'chores' as possible. You have a busy life anyway, so adding in all the domestic stuff at the weekend would be a pain. Have you actually GOT a cleaner or just thinking of getting one? Girls cook once each a week, one vaccums midweek and one of a Friday, Washing in and folded, I'm sure keeping the rooms tidy is a given anyway. Strip and remake their beds when required. Bake once a week for lunches? (I remember you saying one of them was into baking recently)I'm just going over stuff in my mind, I'm sure you've already thought of it.

charlieb2, Nov 15, 4:53am
I think of the two options, I'd prefer shopping and doing the 'treat' dinner, to online. I like to 'pick' what I'm buying... . lol

evorotorua, Nov 15, 4:56am
Good for you Toadfish. Sounds like you have great teenagers. Congratulations. Continuing to support them with their A grades will be a biggie although exams are over in a couple of weeks and then they will have a little more time to help. I suggest giving each a job everyday ( or more) like prepare veges for dinner for one of them and washing in and vacuuming for another. Swap around if they like but make a rule so that it is there in place in case of problems between them. If they want to swap it around and can compromise then it's more lesson for them about cooperation. I don't quite work full time but almost and the kids (15 and 19) help as instructed. I think any kid is going to take short cuts and you need to pull them into line as and when necessary. You wouldn't have great kids though if you didn't already know that! ! i shop early on a Sat morniing or on the way home from work during the week. A bit different in Rotorua though as the shops are on the way home and never too busy! ! I make and freeze pizza scrolls for some school lunches and the kids organise the lunch for themselves each morning. We have a family breakfast at the table and then while spreads etc are already out they make sandwiches etc and pack it all away. Hubby and I are out the door with everything sorted by 7. 40 each morning. Fortunately kids walk to school. Actually one is home from uni now but they did both walk to school! I wish you well and want to take this opportunity to thank you for advise I have gleaned from you over the past few years. Erica

duckmoon, Nov 15, 5:11am
I do freezer meals... Google "once a month cooking" they have lots of wisdom about how to make food easy

toadfish, Nov 15, 5:18am
Thanks Charlie, Evo & Duckmoon... Its all very new... I always think of myself as the Queen of Budgets (behind KOB obviously) and part of me worried that my shortage of time would stop some of my budgeting tricks... Like calling into New World in the mornings to check out there reduced meat... but I know I can still budget and the fabulous thing is my wages go up with my hours obviously... so even though that eases the pressure to budget I hate waste & want to save for things (part of my reason for going back full time) so will have to think smartly.

charlieb2, Nov 15, 5:23am
Thats exactly why I wondered if you had actually hired a cleaner Toadie... I think you'll find between you all, you'll manage just fine. The girls are old enough and CAPABLE enough to make a good job of washing the floor, or whatever... . I'd leave the cleaner out of the equation for a while and see how you get on. Could mean another overseas trip on saved cleaners wages! ! lol

toadfish, Nov 15, 5:27am
I know but "ALL" 3 of us haattttteeee cleaning. I kind of thought of it as my treat for all the extra hours... . still going to save for that next overseas trip though... sitting by a pool somewhere or on a cruise ship where I can cant't trek up any "F" hills. lol. I don't smoke... drink or gamble... . can I puleassseee have a cleaner... just 2 hours a week puleeeasssseeeeeeee

charlieb2, Nov 15, 5:53am
Lol... Well. . Ok then... . lol. I really dont mind... . but I did wonder about your frugal scottish heritage! ! ! lol. Must admit I'd be hiring someone to clean if working full time. I HATE with a passion cleaning toilet and bathroom especially...

skippie1, Nov 15, 6:33am
Have you got a crockpot, they are great for meals. Or cook cheaper chickens during the day for lunches or salads. I use mine a lot esp during the winter, summertime I use it for chicken, which then makes a quick currie or as I said before, salads or lunches.

kob, Nov 16, 8:40pm
hey toadie, you ob got the job well down virtual pat on the back for you... . . keeping it real about the home situation, notes are the key, if when you get up you have some meat or something to precook do so while your getting orginised and then all the girls have to do is switch oven on grab the precooked stuff out of the fridge and heat, let them make a salad, turn on the pot of spds and dinners done easy peesy, if you want the wash brought in a folded detail that in a note, because if you dont ask they are not mind readers (i found that out the hard way) i would rather the wash be still on the line than walk through the door to see it sitting on the sofa because your note never said fold up and put in the boiler... ... LOL you have to love them sometimes, same with the dishes oh you wanted me to dry them you should of said when you said check to see if the dishes have been done i thought you meant WASHED ! ! ! ! !

davidt4, Nov 16, 9:04pm
Hi toadfish. I absolutely recommend that you get yourself a cleaner. After a long tiring day it's the most wonderful thing to come home to a spotless house, and it lifts such a load from the household. I have always paid my cleaners the same hourly rate that I earn, so I don't feel that I'm exploiting anyone, and I find that four hours once a fortnight is enough to keep things reasonably well maintained, although once a week would be ideal.

Go for it! Once you have found someone reliable and diligent you'll wonder how you ever got by without them.

red2, Nov 16, 9:20pm
2 x 18 year olds and 1 x 23 year old at my place . I use my crockpot a lot ( you can still put your budget meat buying skills to use ! ! ). One person brings in the washing , folds it and distributes it hopefully to the correct owner - another prepares salad or vege to go with dinner or does some meal prep if not a crockpot meal. The third one unloads the dishwasher. Each is responsible for cleaning their own room and 1 x also does their bathroom once a week. That just leaves the kitchen , lounge , hallway , our bedroom/ensuite for me to do. 1 x also does the lawns once a week. Works fine for us and sounds like you will be fine too - by the way - love your brown rice salad recipe ! !

bernice1, Nov 16, 10:29pm
I heartily recommend the cleaner, 2 hrs per week was great for me. I worked part time, attended Uni full time, had two young children (7 & 9 when i started uni), step sons in 20's also attending Uni, hubby in high pressure job. Organisation was the key, I did my grocery shopping late at night after young ones in bed and on my way home from studying at Library. Hubby made school lunches in mornings, while I made beds, tidied up etc. I organised dinner, older kids set table with one of young ones with the other older one and young one doing dishes and cleaning up after dinner. Once a month I baked, and cooked up a storm for after school snacks and lunch box fillers. Worked for us. The cleaner was an essential as far as I was concerned. All this was 14 years ago.

darlingmole, Nov 16, 10:39pm
*waves to toadie*~!

When I only had the 4 kids (all school age) 4 years ago and working 7am-9pm several times a week I kept everything as simple as possible. One kid hung out washing before school, another one had to bring it in fold it. I'd defrost the meat and prep some of the veges but another kid would have to help out finishing the rest after school. And we ate very simpley - saved the yumcious meals for the weekend when I'd appreciate them more anyway. The meals included macaroni with bacon/onion/tomato; spag bol (did that one to death actually! ); bbq sausages with salad; roast - definately the easiest; bacon/vege soup and rolls; bacon'n'egg pie with salad n chips ... you know - all the easy humble food.

As for the cleaning - I'm a clean freak according to friends and family so would routinely do it all myself - their standard would be up to mine anyway!

But I tend to agree with davidt and others on here - get a reliable cleaner. I figure that most of them are "cashy" jobs wouldn't be thrilled about paying the same wage/hr as me as I pay tax and they don't! But that's just my opinion. And good luck returning full time by the way

red2, Nov 16, 10:43pm
One more thing I find good is internet grocery shopping - save your basics on their" lists "screen . Its a good time saver

davidt4, Nov 16, 10:49pm
I should have been clearer - I pay my cleaners the same hourly rate as I receive after tax.

crails, Nov 17, 8:05am
Care to share your brown rice salad recipe?

charlieb2, Nov 17, 8:08am
Here it is crails... . . Brown Rice Salad - By popular demand! ! 1 cup brown rice 1 3/4 cup water 1/4 cup soya sauce (light if available) 1/2 onion finely chopped Cook the rice in the water & when cooked & still hot add the soya sauce and finely chopped onions let cool(a couple of hours preferably overnight) Add the following ~ 1 red pepper chopped 1/2 cup roasted peanuts chopped 1/2 cup each of roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds and sultanas. Dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp grated lemon rind 1 clove garlic crushed 1 tsp fresh ginger 1 tsp honey pinch of salt. Mix and pour over salad toadfish (708 ) 8:52 am, 18 Dec

susie2703, Nov 17, 8:54am
Keep a grocery shopping list in the kitchen, with a pen, and write down what you need to replace as soon as stocks start running low. Write it down as soon as you notice it, because it's easy to forget later. Then you are ready to go grocery shopping with a list, saves money and time. I'm working full-time too with teens and this works for me. Teens can be trained to write stuff on the list too! Good luck for new job.

donnabeth, Nov 17, 9:04pm
You sound like a very caring Mum.

The biggie I remember from those tough days was that my kids and husband were as tired as I was. The kids actually worked longer hours than me because they had part time jobs as well as up to 5 hours of homework a night.

I had(still have) a wonderful supportive husband. Between the four of us someone was home each night to cook a meal. The cook chose what we ate and didn't need to do the dishes. Friday in our house has always been 'please yourself get your own' night. Our son turned out to be a very health conscious creative cook which has continued into adulthood.

I chose to continue with the main cleaning as I enjoy cleaning. Everyone helped with tidying, making beds and hanging out/ bringing in /folding washing. The windows didn't always sparkle, but we could see through them. The lawns were mowed by whoever was able to. The flower garden unfortunately ended up weedy and unruly as nobody had it high on their priority. The vege garden was well tended by everyone.

I really think a working family is better off than one where the kids have no responsibility and every gadget and comfort given to them. I'm very proud of the way my kids worked at school and home and now they both have employers who are pleased to be able to rely on them.

All the same, like the trying times of toddler tantrums and no sleep, I'm glad those demanding days are behind me and we're living in relaxed comfort. (until I'm a grandma of course, then I'll think "how could I have forgotton this? )

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